Central Notes: Kennard, D. Williams, Antetokounmpo

The Pistons are more optimistic than ever about rookie Luke Kennard after watching his summer league performance, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. The 12th pick in this year’s draft, Kennard averaged 17.2 points per game as Detroit’s team advanced to the finals in Orlando. He made 11 of 23 shots from 3-point range during the 10-day competition and eased any fears the Pistons may have harbored about his defense.

“Pretty much what we thought offensively, maybe even did a better job passing the ball than I thought,” said coach/executive Stan Van Gundy. “He’s able to make plays off the dribble , that nice change of pace, and things I hadn’t seen a lot of. He really has a great feel for the game and how to play in addition to clearly his ability to shoot the ball.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Richard Jefferson offered some insight on his Road Trippin’ podcast about why Deron Williams is unlikely to return to the Cavaliers, relays Daniel Rappaport of Sports Illustrated. Jefferson said the veteran guard’s “eyes did not light up” about coming off the bench in Cleveland, but joked that the Warriors’ “eyes lit up” whenever Williams checked into the Finals. Williams didn’t turn out to be a good fit for the Cavs after joining the team in late February in the wake of buyout with the Mavericks. He was particularly bad in the Finals, shooting 2 of 16 for the series and averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 assists per game. Williams’ contract with Cleveland expired after the season, and he remains a free agent.
  • Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose $100MM extension begins with the start of the season, has another big payday ahead, writes Nick DePaula of ESPN. He will be a free agent in the shoe market at the end of September after making just $25K from Nike last year and expects to top that figure several times over. Antetokounmpo is hoping to exceed the nearly $5MM-per-year deal that Kristaps Porzingis received from Adidas, with one industry specialist speculating that he could receive $7MM to $10MM annually.
  • The Bucks won’t be the only team playing at their new arena, according to the Associated Press. The NBA team has reached a seven-year agreement allowing Marquette to use the facility, which is expected to open ahead of the 2018/19 season.
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5 thoughts on “Central Notes: Kennard, D. Williams, Antetokounmpo

  1. bsteady7

    Seems like Nike and “The Greek Freek” would be the best fit. They could market him as Greek God dunking from one Greek Isle to the next! Bam! Put me on the marketing team! Pay me my money.

  2. Wellington igunbor

    he himself better watch his back he COULD POTENTIALLY GET TRADED

  3. KnicksCavsFan

    I think the story writing about Deron Williams was lazy at best. I don’t think he meant it to be a “for the record” evaluation of D. Will. Let’s talk facts.

    D. Will is old. His days as a starter are probably over. He’s not a great defender.

    Fact: He’s viewed as a back-up at this point. They need him to play about 15 minutes a game and spot start occasionally. That fact mitigates his flaws.

    He shot 46%/41%/84% and just under 8 pts and 4 assists in 20 min played per game. Those are very good numbers for your back-up point guard.

    The Cavs are laser focused on getting back to the Finals, most likely vs the GSW. Yes, D-Will was manhandled against them. Does that mean you discount his value for 82 games of the regular season or 3 rounds of the playoffs? In the playoffs last year he was great up until the GSW series.

    vs Indiana he shot 77%/76%/86% with 8 pts and 1,5 assists per game in about 15 minutes.

    vs Raptors he shot 50%/33%/0 with 5pts and 4 assists per game in 16 minutes per game.

    vs Celtics he shot 42%/29%/100% with 4pts and 2 assists per game in 15 minutes per game.
    *8/19 in FG and 2/7 in 3pt FG

    vs GSW …..complete disaster.

    His numbers were great in the first 2 series, not bad in the one vs the Celtics (1 shot away from 50% shooting and 1 shot away from 44% 3pt shooting.

    In a role as a back up to Irving/Rose/Smith, on a vets minimum, I have no problem with D Will returning. We have an entire season to make any needed adjustments to address the GSW. With Irving’s uncertainty and Rose’s fragility, the Cavs need depth at the guard position.

    • x%sure

      If Williams played on a team that did not go that far, he would be an in-demand PG FA now! Because he was fine until then, especially under the circumstances. It’s like he was thinking, It’s already been a long year now this.
      But that transition year is over and this year would go even better. Except, Ivan Calderon was signed. No way he does more for the Cavs this year. Not Felder either.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        I forgot about Calderon. So right now they have Irving, Rose, Calderon, Shump and Smith. I do think that IF Irving is moved then Shump or Smith will be sent along too. That could possibly open up a spot too. We’ll see.

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